Motorola Mobility is a division of Lenovo Group that develops mobile devices. Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, United States, the company was formed on January 4, 2011 by the split of Motorola Inc. into two separate companies; Motorola Mobility took on the company's consumer-oriented product lines, including its mobile phone business and its cable modems and set-top boxes for digital cable and satellite television services, while Motorola Solutions retained the company's enterprise-oriented product lines.
The company primarily manufactures smartphones and other mobile devices running the Android operating system developed by Google Inc.; in August 2011, only several months after the split, Google acquired Motorola Mobility for US$12.5 billion. Google's stated intent for the purchase was to gain control of Motorola Mobility's portfolio of patents, so it could adequately protect other Android vendors from lawsuits. The deal closed in May 2012, after which it also sold its cable modem and set-top box business to Arris Group. Under Google ownership, Motorola Mobility increased its focus on the entry-level smartphone market, introduced one of the first Android Wear smartwatches, and also began development on Project Ara, a platform for modular smartphones with interchangeable components.
Google's ownership of the company would be short-lived, as it announced in January 2014 that it would sell most of Motorola Mobility to Chinese computer technology firm Lenovo for $2.91 billion. The sale, which excluded all but 2000 of Motorola Mobility's patents and the team working on Project Ara (which became part of the main Android development staff), was completed on October 30, 2014. Lenovo disclosed an intent to use its purchase of Motorola Mobility as a way to expand into the U.S. smartphone market.
In January 2016, following the August 2015 merger of Lenovo's existing smartphone business with Motorola Mobility, it was announced that the company would begin to phase out the name Motorola as a public-facing brand, replacing it with the "Moto" brand used on most of its recent devices, and the "Vibe" brand that originated under Lenovo, its parent company. However, Motorola later clarified that the brand is not disappearing, but the marketing focus will be on its "Moto" (and Lenovo's "Vibe") brands, whereas the Motorola brand will appear on packaging and also through its licensees.